England, Egypt and Now … Ohio

Kent State alumnus and Professor Emeritus help Hopewell earthworks in Ohio earn UNESCO World Cultural Site designation

What do Chillicothe and Newark, Ohio, have in common with national landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks?

All these U.S. locations are designated as UNESCO World Cultural Sites. The ancient earthworks of the Hopewell located in Chillicothe and Newark earned the designation in September of 2023.

According to Kent State University Professor Emeritus Mark Seeman, Ph.D., an anthropology educator whose research focuses on the Hopewell culture, this designation is a significant recognition.

“It places the earthworks, attributed to people of the Hopewell culture who flourished in southern Ohio between 1 CE and 350 CE, in a class reserved for the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge in England,” he told David Dix, special to the Record-Courier.

Hopewell earthworks mound city

Seeman’s career as a research scholar focused on the people of the Hopewell culture. 

His work inspired others, including National Park Service archaeologist Bret Ruby, Ph.D., and Kent State graduate, who took a leading role in writing the nomination. 

Seeman was not involved in the nomination process, but his work is cited, according to the Record-Courier article.

Located primarily in Chillicothe, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks consist of a large grouping of geometric earthen mounds that can extend for several miles. 

Some contain large burial mounds, and some were configured to line up with the sun on the summer solstice. 

Artifacts from the Hopewell excavations were exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1898 and can now be seen at Chicago’s Field Museum, according to the article.

Read the full story and learn more about the history of the Hopewell earthworks.

POSTED: Thursday, May 23, 2024 11:39 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 23, 2024 02:07 PM
Amy Antenora